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Welcome to the new FIU in DC: the newest platform for national impact
FIU recognized Florida's congressional delegation and federal research partners during a special event at FIU in DC earlier this week.

Welcome to the new FIU in DC: the newest platform for national impact

November 18, 2022 at 4:56pm

by Juliana Narvaez

This week, as Congress returned to Washington, D.C., the university celebrated the Florida Congressional delegation and its federal agency partners while inaugurating the expanded FIU in Washington, D.C. hub. This student, research and briefing center is setting a new standard for engaged research universities in the nation’s capital.

This high-tech facility represents a renewed commitment to Capitol Hill and allows students, alumni, researchers and national policymakers to convene, co-work and take courses, while learning more about the impact of FIU research.

Student success: engaged academic experiences

One major prompt for the expansion was the growth of student programs and courses at the Talent Lab at FIU in DC since 2016. Over 120 students intern in the nation's capital every year and over 800 participate in Career Fly-Ins aimed at securing jobs and internships.

This fall semester, 32 students are interning in D.C. and various cohorts are enrolled in one of three academic programs offered by the FIU Honors College, the Jack D. Gordon Institute for Public Policy and the College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts (CARTA). These courses take place in the Talent Lab classroom located in the center.

“Through our class, ‘The Washington Seminar,’ we take on a specific advocacy project that aligns with our interests and go through the motions of how it can come to fruition. These projects are able to make an impact in communities and allow students like me to advocate for what's important to us," said Lillian Latchmin, a senior studying biological sciences. 

Latchmin herself is supporting the Herbert Wertheim College of Medicine and the Robert Stempel College of Public Health & Social Work by advocating on health disparities research before the federal government and working to create new introductions at the National Institutes of Health. She is also coordinating a visit by the Assistant Secretary of Health and Human Services later this fall.


FIU alumna and Univision reporter Pamela Silva met with student journalists in the CARTA South Florida Media Network’s DC Bureau.

Aside from course credit, students also get the opportunity to host their own programs aimed at collaborating with students from other universities across the country. This past month, Carlos Padilla Monroy, a research intern with FIU's Adam Smith Center for Economic Freedom, hosted a student-run Panther Dialectic event in the newly renovated facility.

With approximately 15 student interns from different universities in attendance, the Panther Dialect discussion centered around how competition between universities for government grants affects research initiatives, as well as topics related to academic freedom, free speech and health care.

“In Panther Dialectic, we believe in constructive dialogue that embodies positive impact," Padilla Monroy said. "This event did exactly that by opening the conversation to other universities, allowing FIU students [to] create new connections on the national stage."

Your academic, research and briefing center in D.C.

  • Overall footprint: 4,900 square feet
  • Two blocks from Union Station (Red Line Metro) and a short walk from the Capitol Building
  • Classroom: 25 seats with broadcasting capability
  • Multipurpose Room: 75 seats theatre style, ability to broadcast
  • Executive Conference Room: 20 Seats
  • Co-working: 5 private offices and drop-down spaces throughout
  • Media Lab and Recording studio: news bureau and AV support for live events happening in multipurpose room
  • Public Rotunda: for intimate collaborative discussions
  • Signature Research Showcase and Interactive LED wall

Research showcase

Throughout the center, electronic displays and curated exhibits showcase major research accomplishments and patented technologies from FIU.

One of the patents developed at the Wall of Wind, the Aerodynamic Mitigation and Power turbine System (AMPS), is also on display. This system, led by Professors Arindam Gan Chowdhury and Andres Tremante, is attached to structures to deflect winds while creating and storing energy.

On an interactive LED wall, over a dozen research initiatives and projects are accessible to the national audiences that will visit the briefing center and celebrate federal collaboration. The interactive technology was also a collaboration between the Divisions of Strategic Communications, Government and External Affairs, and Information Technology.

FIU's national briefing center

A larger multipurpose conference facility allows the FIU community to host national workshops, professional development seminars and other educational activities for students and local stakeholders.

Just last week, the Army Research Lab and the FIU College of Engineering and Computing hosted a research workshop; likewise, over 50 universities convened to review ongoing research on improving radio frequency in devices for the general public and also for public defense purposes.

“Being in a central location like FIU in DC and having a nice facility and interactive screen and everything else, plus being a university that could host this meeting … is a fantastic thing for FIU,” said Dimitris Pavlidis, FIU’s Director of Emerging Research Programs and Research Professor.

FIU in DC is currently hosting a diversity and inclusion retreat for the United States Agency for International Development (USAID).


During this past inaugural week, students helped coordinate other national dialogues with federal agency partners on topics including extreme events; blockchain; solutions for challenges in the Latin American and Caribbean region; and diversity and inclusion.

Earlier this season, faculty and students helped convene national dialogues for The Chronicle of Higher Education and STEMconnector, in order to further conversations surrounding the impact of research innovation in higher education and student success.

One great collaborative space is a working media lab and recording studio, which is used to help broadcast  national conferences. The College of Communication, Architecture + The Arts' South Florida Media Network also records broadcast packages from the space.

Miami's 'embassy' in D.C.

For many students, alumni and corporate friends working or visiting the capital, FIU in DC serves as Miami's "embassy" in the district, bringing the tastes, sounds and sights of the 305 to the nation’s capital. On any given day, the central rotunda will be hosting informal cafecito hours or intimate lunches that provide an opportunity for FIU to open new doors of opportunities and introduce eclectic groups of individuals.

And for many students, the semester in D.C. is their first time away from South Florida.

“As you move through a place and field you are not familiar with, you often tend to get lost and sometimes misguided, but FIU in DC really creates a space of people, comfort and familiarity that you need to re-ground yourself,” said Marian Balceiro, a Hamilton Scholar studying international relations and economics and a research intern at American Foreign Policy Council.

“But it’s honestly the students and the people that make the experience so amazing," Balceiro adds. "Being able to have a support team full of friends and fellows that are so focused, but still willing to be there for you and make sure you’re doing okay is the best part of my time here. Internships, living alone for the first time and the weather changes can really take a toll on you, and having FIU is very necessary. It’s like you never left home!” 

For more information on FIU in Washington, D.C. and to begin planning your semester experience or national conference, click here.

FIU in Washington, D.C. showcases the impact of FIU research; provides students with engaged academic experiences and internships; and convenes national partners for meaningful conversations across a broad range of issues as it brings the magic of Miami to the nation’s capital.